Yamaha has commissioned a series of custom bike builders to create one-off motorcycles. One of the latest is the custom Yamaha XV950 named ‘Playa del Ray’ from Matt Black Custom Designs of Malaga, Spain.
The vintage board tracker influence is as obvious as the name, taken from the location of the 1 mile Los Angeles Motodrome. The track itself only lasted 3 years before being destroyed by fire, so hopefully the custom Yamaha will endure a lot, lot longer.
So the bike received a number of custom and bolt-on parts to achieve the classic new look. In the one-off list come the handmade fuel tank, battery side panels and the rear mud guard, which were all built in-house at Matt Black, along with a custom collector to join the standard Yamaha XV950 headers with the modified Mivv Ghibli exhaust.
More custom work included the custom battery box hidden internally, and the modified XV handlebars, plus custom footpeg adaptors, front bash guard and a modified wiring loom. Kurt Lohse at Matt Black ensured the switch gear all works as intended, while the tank and other metalwork was beaten into shape by Anthony Partridge.
Any custom commissioned by a major manufacturer needs to be somewhat inspirational. So it’s handy that a fair amount of the bike is made from bolt-on parts available from Matt Black. From the ground up, there are the front and rear 21 inch rims, the rear pulley with cush drive system, the plexiglass see-through cam gear cover, left-side crankcase cover and right-side generator cover for starters..
And there are parts from other manufacturers, including a slightly modified Rebufini front springer fork, which is one of the major talking points of the bike. It’s balanced out by the Ohlins in the rear. Rebufini also supplied the mini hand controls and switch housings to accompany the Vitys headlight and grips.
The Bullet indicators and footpegs are from Rizoma, while the speedo and housing are from Motogadget.
Stopping power is increased with PM calipers, and a set of LA Choppers risers gets the look and stance just right.
You’ve probably been distracted from reading anything by the pictures of the Playa del Ray, and I can’t blame you. So here’s a video with even more on the bike, including chats with Yamaha Sport Heritage Product Manager Shun Miyazawa and Anthony Partidge from Matt Black Custom Designs.
The paint and pint striping was done by Ray Hill at Matt Black, while the fuel cap was custom made by Crafty B in the USA, and the rocker cover was engraved by local ‘Tony the Engraver’.
If you want to commission a build or invest in some of an expanding range of XV parts, you can visit Matt Black. It’s certainly fun to see the spirit of a Californian board track from the 1910s live on via custom bike builders in Spain.